Saturday, August 09, 2014
This Shouldn't Have Been Necessary
In what is mistaken for good news these days, Houston's city council voted by a wide margin to pass an ordinance allowing ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, to operate legally in their fair city. No one seems to bat an eye at the fact that, even in one of the most capitalistic cities in the country, agreements between consenting adults are treated like a privilege granted by the state, rather than a right to be protected by it. The default condition in a free society is that a legitimate concern needn't get permission to do business.
Oh, and there are already strings attached:
Council members did pass several amendments that were designed to make the competition more level. Currently, Uber and Lyft do not have a metered fare like a cab, and can change how much they charge based on demand. City leaders voted to allow that for cabs as well. But, it will only apply to cabs hailed through an app, not to cabs people catch on the street or at a hotel. Those cabs will still need to adhere to meter rates.So cabs can't adjust their rates and, presumably, a ride-share operator who wanted to use a meter would be on the wrong side of the law if he did. Such is the business climate in one of America's freer cities.
"By examining the lives of people who experience tragic loss, you can find that the most resilient among them seized the new opportunities that arose." -- Michael Hurd, in "Loss Hurts, But It Can Also be Opportunity" at The Delaware Wave
"People who feel that they have too little control over their lives certainly need to address the issue -- but not on the roads of resort towns." -- Michael Hurd, in "Vacation Mindset Syndrome" at The Delaware Coast Press
My Two Cents
The second teaser quote above would make me more inclined to laugh at impulsive drivers -- if only they weren't so dangerous.
If you like steak, ...
... you'll love Argentina, says Maciej Ceglowski, who also offers the following amusing speculation after travelling there:
Surely [Juan Díaz de] Solís was wearing one of those crucifixes that shows Jesus actually hanging from the cross. It must have been a simple mistake on the part of the natives, who saw him as a friendly gift from the visitors on the boat, complete with a serving suggestion suspended around his neck. In any case, you will now see crucified lambs and calves in the front window of many a larger parrilla, roasting for hours in front of unfazed diners.Ceglowski, the proprietor of my favorite bookmarking site, is also quite an entertaining writer. If you have some time to kill, stop by his blog, Idle Words, and look around, particularly at his travel entries.